excommunication
   Excommunication is the action of a church to deny spiritual benefits to a member, often including its sacramental offices such as the Lord's SupPER and last rites. The excommunicated person is also barred from participation in the church's fellowship (disfellowshipping). When church membership was universal, excommunication carried much more serious consequences than it does in religiously pluralistic societies.
   Excommunication usually requires a judicial process, which varies widely from church to church, to determine whether the person has broken a church law or refused to participate in the judicial process itself. The act of excommunication aims to limit the person's negative influence among the membership and tries to elicit repentance, which will allow the ultimate restoration of communion.
   Excommunication played an important role in transforming Protestantism from an attempt to reform the Roman Catholic Church into a separate movement consisting of different denominations. The pope excommunicated Martin Luther in 1521, and the weapon was used against other reformers and their supporters.
   Among the Radical Reformers, who were attempting to build a small disciplined fellowship without state support, excommunication (often called shunning or banning) became a major means of maintaining order and calling straying members back to the fold. Excommunication was imposed at the family level and often led to the alienation of a member from a believing spouse.
   Further reading:
   ■ Francis Edward Hyland, Excommunication: Its Nature, Historical Development and Effects (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1928)
   ■ Jung-Sook Lee, Excommunication and Restoration in Calvin's Geneva, 1555-1556 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Theological Seminary, Ph. D. diss., 1997)
   ■ The Order of Excommunication and Public Repentance (Church of Scotland, 1569; rpt., Dallas, Tex: Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1993)
   ■ Ulrich Stadler, "Cherished Instructions on Sin, Excommunication, and the Community of Goods (c. 1537)," in George H. Williams, ed., Spiritual and Anabaptist Writers: Documents Illustrative of the Radical Reformation. (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1957), 274-84
   ■ Elizabeth Vodola, Excommunication in the Middle Ages (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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  • Excommunication — • Exclusion from the communion, the principal and severest censure, is a medicinal, spiritual penalty that deprives the guilty Christian of all participation in the common blessings of ecclesiastical society Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • excommunication — [ ɛkskɔmynikasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • XIVe; escomination 1160; lat. ecclés. excommunicatio 1 ♦ Peine ecclésiastique par laquelle qqn est retranché de la communion de l Église catholique. ⇒ excommunier. Excommunication de droit (⇒ anathème) , de fait. Bulle …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • excommunication — Excommunication. s. f. Censure Ecclesiastique par laquelle on est excommunié. Excommunication majeure, Qui retranche entierement de la Communion de l Eglise, & de toute communication avec les fidelles. Excommunication mineure, Qui interdit… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Excommunication — Ex com*mu ni*ca tion, n. [L. excommunicatio: cf. F. excommunication.] The act of communicating or ejecting; esp., an ecclesiastical censure whereby the person against whom it is pronounced is, for the time, cast out of the communication of the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Excommunication — Excommunication, Kirchenbann, Ausstoßung eines Gliedes aus der christlichen Gemeinde, welches sich durch grobe Sünden und Vergehungen der Kirchengemeinschaft unwürdig gemacht hat. –s– …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Excommunication — Excommunication, lat. deutsch, die Ausschließung aus der Gemeinschaft der Kirche, die strengste kirchl. Censur (die Berechtigung der Kirche folgt aus Math. 8, 7; Paulus 1 Kor. 5, 4; 2 Thessal. 3, 14); sie ist e. minor, wenn der Straffällige von… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • excommunication — index banishment, expulsion, ostracism, rejection Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • excommunication — mid 15c., from L.L. excommunicationem (nom. excommunicatio), from pp. stem of excommunicare put out of the community, in Church L. to expel from communion, from ex out (see EX (Cf. ex )) + communicare, from communis common (see COMMON (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Excommunication — A depiction of Pope Gregory IX excommunicating. Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious …   Wikipedia

  • Excommunication — L excommunication (du latin ecclésiastique ex communicare, « mettre hors de la communauté ») est, chez les catholiques et les orthodoxes et au moins certain protestants comme les Amish ou les Témoins de Jéhovah, une exclusion de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

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